Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Associate Research Scientist, Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Wyllie joined the Yale IMPACT (Implementing Medical and Public health Action against Coronavirus, CT) team to co-lead the virology section, responsible for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in saliva and other COVID-19 patient specimen sources as well as in an asymptomatic healthcare worker cohort. Having worked with saliva as a clinical specimen for pneumococcal carriage detection for almost 10 years, Dr. Wyllie is an expert in the laboratory methods required for working with saliva and skillfully applied these for SARS-CoV-2 detection. The use of saliva as an alternative sample type can alleviate many of the bottlenecks encountered in the mass testing strategies required to control continuing outbreaks. In an effort to address many of these issues, Wyllie further validated and optimized saliva for SARS-CoV-2 detection and together with Nathan Grubaugh developed SalivaDirect: a simple, scalable and importantly, cost-effective method to help alleviate SARS-CoV-2 testing demands.